Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in a surprise announcement, has released the date of the next Federal election.
The next Federal election will be held on September 14.
“I can act to clear away the carry on that comes with speculation about when the election will be held and I can create an environment in which the nations eyes are focussed on the policies, not the petty politics. So today I announce that I will advise the Governor General to dissolve the House of Representatives and to issue writs on Monday the 12th of August for an election for the House and half of the Senate to be held on Saturday the 14th September.”
Gillard went on to joke that she didn’t intend for the nation to be caught up in the longest campaign in history, but rather to distinguish between days of governing and days of campaigning. “Announcing the election date now enables individuals and business, investors and consumers to plan their year.”
Colin Porter, managing director of CreditorWatch, said this announcement would have an effect on small business by impacting on their cashflow. “Big business especially those with government contracts will be reviewing their exposure if there is a change of government and the impact this may have on their business. This generally means that major decisions could be placed on hold pending the election outcome, causing a trickle down effect on smaller businesses. It’s prudent that companies should monitor their existing customer credit and payment terms for any change in pattern and act upon any change promptly.”
Small business should also take this opportunity to contact their local MPs, says Yolanda Vega, Chief Executive of the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “[The announcement offers] an opportunity to ensure politicians take note of the majority. This gives SMEs plenty of time to deliver their message to their local Member of Parliament (MP) and allow for women to get together and deliver a united voice of what is needed at all levels: tax reforms, childcare and more.”
Vega believes this is the time that small business should ensure their voice is heard. “Unfortunately lobby groups representing small business are poorly funded and therefore don’t have the resources the big end of town has to promote their cause. However, SMEs make up the majority of businesses in Australia and it’s about time we all get together to ensure the majority is not again forgotten and provided with more broken promises, as we have seen in the past.
“The Australian Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry will continue to work to ensure women business owners are able to do business in an equitable space without gender based barriers; this includes procuring contracts from government.
“We need visionaries that understand that women are big contributors to the economy and that if we tap into this under-utilised resource it will benefit all Australians for generations to come; our economy and our communities.”